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Halftime: S&P Higher Despite Worldwide Uncertainty?

On Friday, chatter on the Street had everything to do with the market’s next big move as investors grappled with a few key catalysts.

As you likely know, an 8.9 magnitude quake and resulting tsunami rocked Japan claiming an estimated 1,000 lives. Roads buckled and power lines went down forcing auto plants, electronics factories and refineries to shut their doors.

Although companies that generate a lot of business from Japan took a hit that weakness was offset by the move in energy; investors bid the sector higher after the overseas tragedy took oil refineries offline.

"Some refiner capacity has been knocked out and some competitive fuels like nuclear have been knocked down, so there's a need for more refined products on the assumption the economy won't slow down," says Kurt Wulff, president at McDep in a Reuters interview.

Fast trader Joe Terranova is also bullish energy and tells the desk he’s playing it long UPL and long Suncor.

Meanwhile the Fast desk was also watching developments in Saudi Arabia. The Day of Rage in Riyadh drew far fewer people than expected which investors took as a sign that Mideast unrest would not hobble the current Saudi regime.

In turn oil traded lower and the S&P higher. In recent days, it seems nothing has mattered more to the S&P than the price action in oil. Typically as one goes higher the other goes lower.

In fact, the S&P had a series of tailwinds, in addition to strength in the energy sector and lower oil, the Vix pulled back, reminds trader Pete Najarian. And new economic data showed that retail sales rose 1.0 percent in February, the largest gain since October.

Fast trader Steve Grasso is watching a key technical level on the S&P, specifically the February low of 1294. “We bounced off that so we’re in good shape,” he says.


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Trader disclosure: On Mar. 11, 2011, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders; Grasso owns (ASTM), (BA), (BAC), (BWC), (C), (CSCO), (JPM), (LIT), (LPX), (MT), (MHY), (NDAQ), (PFE), (PRST) and (S). Joe Terranova Owns (VRTS), (C), (GS), (PNC), (USB), (JPM), (UPL), (ABT), (MS), (PBR), (BAX), (TEVA), (CVI), (RSX), (SU) and (CNQ). Pete Najarian Owns (AAPL). Pete Najarian Owns (TCK). Pete Najarian Owns (AKS) Calls. Pete Najarian Owns (BIG) Call Spread.

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GE Owns 49% Of CNBC

JOE TERRANOVA
Terranova is Chief Market Strategist of Virtus Investment Partners, LTD
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (ABAX)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (AMKR)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (CCG)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (CASS)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (CSVI)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (EXR)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (FCFS)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (KRC)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (LDR)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (LPHI)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (NCRI)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (DBV)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLB)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLV)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLP)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLY)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLE)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLF)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLI)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLK)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLU)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (SUBK)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (WDFC)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (YDNT)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (DOM)

STEVE GRASSO
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (AMGN)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (CSCO)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (CUBA)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (GERN)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (HPQ)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (HSPO)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (MSFT)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (NYX)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (PFE)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (PRST)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (SDS)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (XRX)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (SDS)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (UAL)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (XRX)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners are short (QQQQ)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners are short (AAPL)

TODD GORDON
Accounts Managed By Aspen trading Group Are Short Dollar/Yen
Accountes Managed By Aspen trading Group Are Short Dollar/Yen

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